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The ‘Notey’ Way to Learning
“India marks one year anniversary of demonetization,” read the morning headlines of a popular news portal. One year already ? I remembered the disruption the sudden move had caused in the life of the common man when my 4-year-old daughter, Kaira, joked,
“Mom, my pig is full of pink notes, you have to create a mixture of other colors”.
She was smart and even though she didn’t understand the value of money, she knew it was important to her to protect her mini-bank from raids by her siblings. While her mind fascinated me, what worried me was thinking about how I could channel her curiosity into developing her interest in math, a subject she dreaded. And, this in a fun way to keep her hooked.
So, I sketched out some fun activities, which could occupy him during the holidays while making him understand the science of “MONEYOLOGY”. Here are a few I could think of:
Sort and Stack: We opened his pig’s lock and emptied him onto the mat. The next step was to ask him to stack all the colored notes separately; coins to sort and stack according to their value. The next step was to have him calculate the value of each pile and write the same on sticky notes, attaching it to each packet. Dive deep into the crisp notes, it was a pleasure to watch her carefully add up the bills and coins and more to do it.
Length bar scaling: The newly introduced currency was thinner and shorter than the previous ones, not to mention brightly colored. This sparked another idea to familiarize her with values. I asked him to take a note from each pile and place them according to their length. I followed this session by asking it to spot the highest and lowest value in the stack. Once done, she had to place them in ascending and descending order, one after the other. And There you go!! The task was completed in the blink of an eye!!
Flip Flop Shapes: Notes of different shapes and colors. I have now asked him to create different shapes with them, including hexagons and octagons. She could use various notes to achieve the desired dimensions. Once that was done, I asked him to name the shapes and then sum up the total value of each.
Mathematics of National Flags: I merged into Geography to bring a touch in the game in addition to breaking the monotony of the calculations lest she understand my intentions. So, I gave him a chart which had listed all the national flags of the world with the country names. I asked him to arrange the notes in a form to create the national flag of each country. For the missing colors, she cut out paper in the shape of the notes she used to create the rest of the flag and painted it any color she wanted. A pick there and a patch on the other side, my pumpkin was absorbed for hours, matching colors with the board and creating the flags. When done, I removed the board and asked him to name the countries, seeing the national flags. One more subject conquered!!
Mathematical Sting for Shopaholics: Kaira is a true fashionista and loves following trends. So, I gave her a copy of the latest designs from popular designers, especially her personal favorites, and listed their prices next to the picture. All she had to do was dip into her new purse and keep the cost of each drawing above the picture. She drooled over the seam and carefully calculated the price, placing the final amount on each picture. Hello ! She knew exactly how much she could take and how much money she would need for her next shopping spree.
While my little one was enjoying the activities, I also enjoyed watching her do the little chores without forgetting that she was juggling the math monster. Share all the ones you’ve done to get your kids to understand currency trading!!
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